Read: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland

09 Jul

How can the cover not get my attention??

I first saw this book in Borders.  Immediately there was this strange cooing sound coming from my lips. The cover is simply stunning.  How could I not be intrigued by a story about Tiffany Glass Works?  As much of an antique nut and lover of pretty much all things Tiffany, I was suddenly consumed with want.  Once at home, I quickly downloaded Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland onto my Coby Kyros and was hooked.

The book opens in 1893 in the haze of the Chicago World’s Fair, where Louis Comfort Tiffany has opened an exhibit that stuns and enchants the public.  What is not widely known nowadays is that Tiffany’s labor force was driven by brilliant, unmarried women who were better able to organize the beautiful harmony of colors in the famous Tiffany windows.  Clara Driscoll is the head of Tiffany’s women’s division – a bright, intelligent and very gifted artist.  Clara finds herself back in the folds of the Tiffany workshops after the death of her husband, since it is against Tiffany’s policies to be married and working in the company.

The story follows Clara and she struggles to gain respect from her superiors, although she never lacks for appreciation from Tiffany himself.  The story follows Clara and her ragtag group of housemates, and how Clara helped Tiffany create the lamp shades that would eventually captivate the world.  The real struggles begin when Clara does the unthinkable and falls in love again.  Will she choose between love and the love of her craft?

Susan Vreeland writes a beautiful story and brilliant as the glass windows and exhibits that she describes.  This book did not disappoint me, and I can see myself enjoying this book again in the future.


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Posted by on July 9, 2011 in Historical Fiction, Read


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